The latest Star Wars spin-off, ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ is finally here, bringing with it your first chance to see the origins of Harrison Ford’s iconic Han Solo character.
The film follows a young Han Solo (played by Alden Ehrenreich) as he seeks adventure with a gang of galactic smugglers (including a 196-year-old Wookie that fans of the franchise will definitely recognise) to steal a batch of valuable starship fuel.
But before you head to the cinema, here’s what you need to know. Don’t worry, we’ve kept it spoiler free!
You don’t NEED to have seen any of the other films
Whereas a lot of the ‘Star Wars’ movies are about setting up the world and building towards the bigger picture, ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ is much simpler – it’s all about a heist.
What this means is that while you’ll obviously find plenty of rich Star Wars nuggets to enjoy, this movie is similar to Rogue One in that it has a narrower focus, so newbies will be able to follow it and get just as much out of it.
It’s a proper intergalactic heist movie
The heist involves Han, Chewbacca (a 190-year-old, 7-foot tall bear-like creature), Lando Calrissian (a smooth-talking smuggler) and some new friends heading to the Kessel system to boost a rare mineral for a shadowy crime syndicate known as Crimson Dawn. The plot is orchestrated by the rogueish Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson), a man from whom Solo clearly inherited much of his attitude.
Who is the new Han Solo?
The filmmakers say they saw about 3,000 actors before choosing Alden Ehrenreich as the young Han Solo even though, ironically, he was actually the first person to audition.
Facing the near-impossible task of taking over from Harrison Ford in one of the most iconic roles in cinema history, the 28-year-old, who is best known for a well-received performance as a dopey actor in the Coen Brother’s ‘Hail Caesar’, threw himself in to the part, meeting with Ford to talk about the character. And does he pull it off? Absolutely, so much so that even the original star himself has given him the seal of approval.
Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian almost steals the show
You’ll get to meet the hustler (expertly played by Donald Glover) before he became a denizen and leader of Cloud City, when he too was nothing but a smuggler looking to make a buck. His and Han’s budding relationship is one of the most important elements at the heart of ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’.
He almost steals the film. A brilliantly charismatic performance by man of the moment Donald Glover.
Chewbacca is finally given his due
Yes, finally Chewie gets his due as one of the official lead characters of a ‘Star Wars’ film (and it turns out he’s 190-years-old!). Already a fan favourite from his numerous outings as a supporting cast member throughout the series, this film sees the Wookiee (Joonas Suotamo) meeting Han for the first time, and taking the controls as co-pilot on the Falcon, much like the LG G7 ThinQ can act as your perfect co-pilot smartphone. We also get to see him learning how to play Holochess!
Love before Leia?
Qi’ra (played by Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke) has known Solo since childhood and the pair become kind-of business partners. But, as you might imagine, there’s a romantic spark there too. Qi’ra is difficult to read and a born survivor, so watch this space to see how that plays out.
The princess and Han are soulmates, every Star Wars fan knows that, but here we’re introduced to the woman who most-shaped the smuggler before he joined the Rebel Alliance.
There’s a new crew in town
Han stumbles upon smuggler/thief Tobias Beckett and his crew, including Val (Thandie Newton) and Rio (voiced by Jon Favreau), while he’s suffering in the Imperial Army, swiftly realising that they are his way out.
Beckett tells Han that his philosophy should be to assume everyone will betray him so he’s never disappointed. He clearly spots something in his new, young protégé, especially when their first job doesn’t go quite according to plan.
But whose side is Tobias truly on? You’ll have to watch the film to find out.
You will see the Millennium Falcon in a new light
Before the Falcon was a hunk of junk that could still do the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs (something which is important to this film), it was a pristine ship which Lando Calrissian (played by Donald Glover) couldn’t bear to part with.
Those of you used to the Falcon looking a certain way might be a bit shocked by how spanking new it seems at the beginning of ‘Solo’, while there are also some hitherto unseen bits of the ship which the film introduces.
Who are the bad guys?
There are two villains trying to bring down the good guys. Pictured above is Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany), a debonair and terrifying gangster with facial scars and a scary-looking cloak. He has some ties to a surprising character who will be very familiar to fans of the saga.
The other is a rural marauder called Enfys Nest (pictured above), hidden behind a mask (for reasons that become apparent during the film) and the leader of a violent group called the Cloud Riders who is endlessly trying to pinch our heroes’ swag.
When can you see it?
Thankfully, the film is already in UK cinemas! It previewed on Thursday 24th June and was released nationwide the day after on Friday 25th May. The film is 2 hours 15 minutes long and has been rated as a 12A.
Find your perfect co-pilot
Chewie is Han’s, but the LG G7 ThinQ could be yours.
Boasting a solar bright display with precise colour reproduction and low power consumption, voice mission control, inbuilt search pilot (much like the sophisticated navicomputer droid sidekick L3-37 has in her head in the film) and AI image editing, the G7 is durable and has an incredible boombox speaker that will make watching movies on it a truly cinematic experience.
Not only that, but buy one from selected retailers and you’ll receive a voucher to redeem one customisable snap-on case worth £20 with a choice of designs from ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’.